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Hear the rumble of Christian hypocrisy - Comments

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 1 by scottishgeologist

It'll be interesting to see what UK theists have to say to this. Its a devastating article that doesnt pull punches.

McGrath, Lennox, Robertson, Arch Bish, come on, lets hear it!

I can just guess the sort of stuff we'll hear. How long before "shrill" gets a mention? Or "fundamentalist atheist". Wouldnt be surprised if "evolution is ony a theory" creeps in as well

How about a prize for the worst response?

Seconds out, round one....


Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:39:00 UTC | #436452

Kennedyc27's Avatar Comment 2 by Kennedyc27

This is nothing new...

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:43:00 UTC | #436453

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 3 by Richard Dawkins

This is nothing new...
Oh how silly of me. You see, when I read the caption at the top, "This is an expanded version of the article already published on the Washington Post's 'On Faith' blog under a different title" I thought to myself, Oh, right, this'll be completely new and original then. Oh silly me. Etc.

The point, you see, is to bring to a British newspaper-reading audience, what has previously been seen by an American Internet audience. Actually it is rather longer than the 'On Faith' version, and makes an attempt to answer the commonest criticism of that version.


Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:47:00 UTC | #436456

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 4 by scottishgeologist

Prof Dawkins

I notice that in the Times version of the article that you mention the comments:

"The earthquake in Haiti, like every other earthly disaster, reminds us that creation groans under the weight of sin and the judgment of God"

This is from Al Mohler - the full article on his own blog is turgid stuff.

He treats us to:

"The universe, even after the consequences of the Fall, still demonstrates the character of God in all its dimensions, objects, and occurrences"

So back to that old nonsense about plate tectonics having its origin in two people biting a piece of fruit.....



Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:58:00 UTC | #436460

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 5 by Friend Giskard

This article makes the case that Pat Robertson's bullshit is more authentic to tradition than nice, middle-of-the-road theologians' brand of bullshit. That isn't much of a stick with which to beat the latter, give that it's all bullshit anyway. I don't see the point of this piece.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:07:00 UTC | #436463

root2squared's Avatar Comment 6 by root2squared

Alright, alright. I've changed your grade from A to A Plus.

A much better title as well.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:08:00 UTC | #436464

mixmastergaz's Avatar Comment 7 by mixmastergaz

The additional part about scapegoating most caught my eye.

I find it odd that many years ago now, when I was a believer, I never once thought of Christ's death in that way, and yet it's obvious when you consider it with an outsider's perspective. The morally dubious business of someone else taking the blame for the wrong-doings of others is joltingly out-of-step with what most of us would normally consider to be ethical. It seems to be an unanswerable point, and one, I suspect, that will be passed-over by most believers countering Richard's argument here, as it wil be much easier to dismiss the whole thing along the more usual lines of - "Dawkins talks about all believers as though they were fundamentalists" (when he clearly distinguishes between the two here, of course) - or - "he's a fundamentalist" (yawn).

But I wonder whether it's reasonable to criticise moderates for providing a sort of shelter for fundamentalists, and then accusing them of hypocrisy when they refuse that same shelter.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:22:00 UTC | #436470

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 8 by Jay Cee

What does that mean 'expanded' - does that mean the edited parts were reinserted£

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:23:00 UTC | #436471

bethe123's Avatar Comment 9 by bethe123

Of course the UK should see this… The expanded version retains the full vigor of the original, including the fine "sub-Palinesque". How must it be for Palin to realize that her name internationally is now a term of derision...Once again, we walk in the garden of Richard’s turpulence!

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:28:00 UTC | #436474

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 10 by Jay Cee


It's the hypocrisy that provides the shelter.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:30:00 UTC | #436476

TrumpetPower!'s Avatar Comment 11 by TrumpetPower!


The next time you address a moderate Christian, I think it might be fruitful to directly ask if Jesus -- the same Jesus who Christians claim is seated at the right hand of the Father and will judge the living and the dead -- if Jesus has read the Bible.

I think it's a pretty direct and somewhat shocking application of Epicurus's riddle. You see, if Jesus /has/ read the Bible, and if he's at all aware of the human fondness of taking things literally, one can only assume that either Jesus is perfectly happy with so many people taking a literal interpretation of the Bible or is incapable of clarifying which parts are literal and which are metaphorical.



Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:30:00 UTC | #436477

plimpychina's Avatar Comment 12 by plimpychina

I agree Pat Robinson's biblical views are way too simplistic as are apparently your own. Just because you don't agree with the methodology you think God uses that doesn't mean He doesn't exist. I'm sure you may disagree with my own yet here I am.

As true as it might be that the church, as indeed is true of other institutions, is hypocritical and fallen, wouldn't it make more sense to criticize the leader of Christianity on His views on this or any disaster.

13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

The biblical view is that we are not aligned to God's way of thinking. Christ's work - life, death resurrection and ascension are God's answer to that. If indeed we are sinful, the work is done through him. Ours is just to respond. Is that not mercy?

As to the previous post re Albert Moler,I don't know Mr Mohler well but his views appear to co-incidence with those of Christ:

"We can trace the effects of a drunk driver to a car accident, but we cannot trace the effects of voodoo to an earthquake" He states that God is sovereign and in control.

I am not sure your article is well thought through. It is a critique of Mr Robinson but hardly engages a holistic view of the bible and therefore the faith. But that does seem to be your M.O.



Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:35:00 UTC | #436478

mixmastergaz's Avatar Comment 13 by mixmastergaz


So they take the shelter away (i.e. they stop 'sheltering' Robertson, clearly and unambiguously denouncing him) and then they're hypocrites all over again (qm)

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:35:00 UTC | #436479

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 14 by Jay Cee

Lol I keep getting your name wrong. Sorry!

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:38:00 UTC | #436480

Cents's Avatar Comment 15 by Cents

Good on you Richard! I don't see how continuing the tradition of atheists being nonvocal and "nice" to the religious out there has helped the cause of ridding the world of what I choose to call the "affliction of religion". I am tired of us being nice to the religious so we don't offend people, in the hope that they will somehow on their own start to believe in science and the real world and will "see the light".
Look at the impact we have had over the last few years and continue to have with the youth of today. They now know it is okay to not believe in religious dogma. They know that others besides themslves don't believe and they are okay being non-belivers.
Time is marching on for all of us. I want to see significant changes in my lifetime (I like Richard I am in my sixties). If Richard who is the most high profile scientist pusuing the atheist cause puts himself in harms way (any form of harm) by forwarding our cause I personally can only praise him for his efforts.
We must carry on pushing our cause while we have the momentum that has been developed from the clear and insightful writings of the four horsemen, PZ, Paula, Jerry and all the others too numerous to mention.
I trust in Richard. I say we should all give Richard our support and let him lead us forward with his clear-thinking, rational, scientific view of the world.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:40:00 UTC | #436481

mixmastergaz's Avatar Comment 16 by mixmastergaz

No worries about the name.

Don't misunderstand me. It's not like I don't agree with the main thrust of Richard's article - of course I do. But I think it'll be too easy for believers to ignore and dismiss this article with the usual, cliched responses, you know the ones:-

Shrill, strident, intolerant, fundamentalist, blah, blah, blah...

And in saying this, Richard's critics can side-step some pretty challenging arguments. They can avoid answering difficult questions and complain, as usual, about the tone in which those arguments are addressed.


I hope you're joking with "I trust in Richard". You know how easy it would be to substitute his name for another, like, say Jesus...

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:51:00 UTC | #436483

zbob's Avatar Comment 17 by zbob

Text ‘666’ to donate $10 to buy a hand basket big enough for Pat Robertson

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:56:00 UTC | #436484

Cents's Avatar Comment 18 by Cents

No mixmastergaz.
I wasn't joking. (although I think you are) :)
The man and scientist (who definitely is real and no fairy tale) has earned my trust over the years and until he does something I clearly disagree with I will continue to trust him.
Anyways isn't that what we do for politicians when we vote for them?

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:18:00 UTC | #436490

Alovrin's Avatar Comment 19 by Alovrin

Just because you don't agree with the methodology you think God uses that doesn't mean He doesn't exist.


Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:35:00 UTC | #436492

Trixie Goforth's Avatar Comment 20 by Trixie Goforth

You're right on the money, Doc Dawkins!

I live in the Bible Belt--I'm a dang native!--and I can tell you from firsthand experience that 99.999 percent of people who claim the Bible as the Word of God and their "infallible rule of faith and practice" don't know the Bible from the Sears-Roebuck catalog in the outhouse!

And what a way with words you have! "hick, Palinesque"!

I just love it, although I'm a hick myself. But I'm NOT Palinesque!!!

I'd sure love to bruise her be-hind!!!

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:43:00 UTC | #436495

locutus7's Avatar Comment 21 by locutus7

Plimpychina: There is something that does say god does not exist: reality.

Great article. Who cares if it is a reprint? Repetition is an effective rhetorical device. As the christians well know.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:44:00 UTC | #436496

wainscotting's Avatar Comment 22 by wainscotting

This is the most arse-holey I've seen Dawkins yet. Not saying he's wrong to do so (in this instance, he's very right), but for once, he's actually being a bit of a dick.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:50:00 UTC | #436497

Mitch Kahle's Avatar Comment 23 by Mitch Kahle

I wish Obama had balls this big!

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 01:40:00 UTC | #436506

Alovrin's Avatar Comment 24 by Alovrin

Comment #456023 by wainscotting

That has to take the prize for the worst backhanded compliment I've seen in years.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 01:56:00 UTC | #436508

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 25 by Cook@Tahiti

1. Comment #455977 by scottishgeologist on

>McGrath, Lennox, Robertson, Arch Bish, come on, lets hear it!

Let's not. I'm sick and tired of their vague, meaningless, woolly, waffle.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 01:57:00 UTC | #436509

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 26 by Alternative Carpark

But Professor, does a British audience need to be introduced to the mindless babblings of an American fool?

Cow Pat Robinson - I assume the Rev is for "revolting" - doesn't deserve free publicity.

>> 22. Well, he is RICHARD Dawkins.
I must say though, it does annoy me whenever I hear the good Professor accused of 'being a dick'. What the hell is that supposed to mean? I'm surprised he manages to keep his cool and remain as civil as he does, given the insanity he is up against.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 02:25:00 UTC | #436512

Gibbon's Avatar Comment 27 by Gibbon

You know what, Dawkins is right. Pat Robertson is true to HIS religion. And the moderate Christians are true to their religion(s). It’s not all one religion. Different denominations diverge away from the main trunk of Christianity and adapt to whatever social environment they inhabit. Liberal Christianity adapted to different conditions than Robertson’s politicised Christian Fundamentalism did. Today there is no main trunk anymore; it is now a bush that represents the evolutionary history of Christianity. To say that Robertson is a truer Christian than the moderate or liberal is to say that humans are truer apes than Chimpanzees.

It makes no sense to club the moderates and liberals over the head with fundamentalism and argue “If you’re a Christian why aren’t you like the fundamentalists”. They aren’t the same species. In many respects the liberal species is competing against the other species, the conservatives and the fundamentalists among others, for survival of the fittest religion. What Richard Dawkins is advocating is a scorched earth policy that destroys the environment that religion inhabits, but you can’t do that without doing serious damage to the human condition.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 03:36:00 UTC | #436522

stptrck75's Avatar Comment 28 by stptrck75

I'd love to show this piece to my parents. Can't though right now. Would be cruel. Besides, they are good people. They just believe in some pretty crazy things (i.e. the bible).

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 03:42:00 UTC | #436524

mcbender's Avatar Comment 29 by mcbender

Professor Dawkins, thank you very much for this article.

I am sick of the 'moderates' whining about respect for religious beliefs, without ever specifying what specifically it is they believe. They're too slippery for that - they'll never admit to believing what would embarrass them...

One only needs to read the inane comments over at the original article to know that pointing this out strikes a nerve.

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 04:38:00 UTC | #436532

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 30 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Mostly a repost from the shorter article, but edited to fit wainscotting's comment...


I completely agree with you. Richard Dawkins is a dick. How dare he state his opinion in a direct way? How dare he reach out to a total stranger 6000 miles away and mentor her during her escape from Islam (re: Lisa Bauer)? How dare he take a couple minutes to talk to a fan who is giving him a drawing and a short satire, at Barnes & Noble when a long line is forming behind her instead of just muttering "thanks" and shooing her away (re: me)? How dare he give advice to people on this forum who seek it when he probably gets thousands of emails per day?

Yes, you're right. Richard is a complete dick.

Love and Kisses,


Fri, 29 Jan 2010 05:15:00 UTC | #436541